Autumn in Pinecraft

UPDATE: This giveaway is now over. The winner was chosen using and has been contacted via email. Thank you to everyone who participated!


Today’s post was put together by my dear Amish-Mennonite friend, Sherry Gore. I know you will enjoy this sneak peek into her fun personality and her beautiful magazine, Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living. For more information on Sherry and the exciting things going on in her life, please visit or find her on Facebook


When you hear the word autumn, you probably don’t envision Gulf breezes, palm trees, and hibiscus flowers in full bloom. But even in my tropical village of Pinecraft (in the heart of Sarasota, Florida), autumn is as distinct a season as it is for folks in the north. While we don’t have the spectacular changing colors on the trees or a crispness to the air that people enjoy elsewhere in the country, there are other telltale signs of fall. Each year in October you’ll find Amish girls outside the Der Dutchman Restaurant, planting a bed of perennials. And the Pioneer Trails bus, the most common form of transportation of the Amish to Sarasota, increases its run from biweekly to weekly since many Amish come for the season. What fun it is to run into our snowbird friends while biking through the village! Some come down for a week to prepare their houses for the winter. (They usually return around Thanksgiving or Christmas, then stay right up to the week before Easter.) The restaurant at Yoder’s Amish Village exchanges its summer menu for one filled with everybody’s favorite treat: pumpkin! There’s hot-off-the-griddle pumpkin pancakes, a decadent pumpkin cheesecake, and one of my favorites, pumpkin cream pie!

Each of these indications of autumn brings a smile to my face every year. What’s a harbinger of autumn for you?


Here’s a delicious recipe I’d like to share with you. It’s featured in the latest issue of Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living magazine. Can’t you just picture yourself in sweater weather sharing a plate of freshly made apple cider doughnuts with your family? It will definitely feel like autumn, no matter where you are! 

Old-fashioned Apple Cider Doughnuts

1 cup apple cider
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for the work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons apple cider

Sugar topping (pictured):

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Boil the apple cider in a small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup (about 20 to 30 minutes). Set aside to cool. Beat the butter with your mixer, adding in the sugar. Next, add eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Add buttermilk and concentrated cider. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in another bowl. Add these to liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine.

Transfer dough to lightly floured parchment or waxed paper and sprinkle the doughnuts with flour. Turn the dough over onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle the tops with flour.

Roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if dough is still sticky.

Put the dough in the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes.


While the cut doughnut shapes are in the refrigerator, make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar and the cider until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out the doughnut shapes.

Put the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto a second cookie sheet.

Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes.

Put enough oil or shortening into a deep pan to fill it 3 inches; heat the oil to 350 degrees.

Fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once or twice, until golden brown and cooked through; about 1 minute per side. Watch them carefully; they burn quickly.

Remove the doughnuts with metal tongs or a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. While still warm, shake a few at a time in a paper bag containing cinnamon-sugar OR pour the glaze over them. Place on cooling rack or dowel rod.


Sherry Gore is the author of Taste of Pinecraft: Glimpses of Sarasota, Florida’s Amish Culture and Kitchens. She’s appeared in one documentary for National Geographic Channel and is working with the same crew to develop a second. Sherry is the editor of Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living magazine and The Pinecraft Pauper, and a contributing writer for the national edition of The Budget and Cindy Woodsmall’s blog. She is a member of a Beachy Amish-Mennonite church and makes her home in Sarasota with her family.

Click here to visit Sherry Gore’s website.

 Click here to learn more about Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living magazine and/or to order a subscription.



If you would like to enter for a chance to win a copy of the fall issue of Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post on my website.

If you are reading this anywhere other than my website, such as on Facebook, in an email, or on Goodreads, please hop on over to my website by clicking this link ( and leave a comment at the bottom of my post to enter the giveaway. Only comments left on my website will be entered into the giveaway. (It’s just too hard to track down all the comments left in various places, and that means it’s too easy to miss some of the comments.)

The deadline for this giveaway is Monday, October 22, 2012, at noon. The winner will be chosen using and will be contacted privately, as well as announced on next week’s post.

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